View the latest news and announcements related to PIASA’s activities as well as its contacts with major institutions in the United States, Poland, etc. with similar interests and goals.
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The Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences organizes exhibits and lectures on a variety of topics designed to enrich the cultural life of our membership and the larger community, support Polish art and science, and to present Polish scholars engaged in various areas of research.
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You are encouraged to apply for PIASA membership if you wish to support an organization which for almost seven decades has advanced knowledge about Poland’s history and culture in the United States. All PIASA members receive a subscription to The Polish Review, an academic quarterly journal devoted to Polish affairs. Members have an opportunity to build networks and coalitions helpful for individual and group advancement.
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The Polish Institute is supported primarily by dues, gifts and grants from individuals, organizations, and foundations. Gifts of cash, stocks and bonds, real estate, insurance policies will help assure PIASA’s future. Bequests and memorial gifts are encouraged as well as “planned giving” vehicles such as charitable trusts. All gifts to the Polish Institute are fully tax deductible within Internal Revenue Code Regulations.
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THE POLISH INSTITUTE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES OF AMERICA
Polski Instytut Naukowy w Ameryce
Invitation to the evening with the Nobel prize winner Frank Wilczek, MIT professor, who will discuss his latest book
"A Beautiful Question - Finding Nature's Deep Design"
on July 21, 2015 6:30pm
Does the universe embody beautiful ideas?
Artists as well as scientists throughout human history have pondered this “beautiful question.” With Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek as your guide, embark on a voyage of related discoveries, from Plato and Pythagoras up to the present. Wilczek’s groundbreaking work in quantum physics was inspired by his intuition to look for a deeper order of beauty in nature. In fact, every major advance in his career came from this intuition: to assume that the universe embodies beautiful forms, forms whose hallmarks are symmetry—harmony, balance, proportion—and economy. There are other meanings of “beauty,” but this is the deep logic of the universe—and it is no accident that it is also at the heart of what we find aesthetically pleasing and inspiring.
Wilczek is hardly alone among great scientists in charting his course using beauty as his compass. As he reveals in A Beautiful Question, this has been the heart of scientific pursuit from Pythagoras, the ancient Greek who was the first to argue that “all things are number,” to Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, and into the deep waters of twentiethcentury physics. Though the ancients weren’t right about everything, their ardent belief in the music of the spheres has proved true down to the quantum level. Indeed, Wilczek explores just how intertwined our ideas about beauty and art are with our scientific understanding of the cosmos.
Wilczek brings us right to the edge of knowledge today, where the core insights of even the craziest quantum ideas apply principles we all understand. The equations for atoms and light are almost literally the same equations that govern musical instruments and sound; the subatomic particles that are responsible for most of our mass are determined by simple geometric symmetries. The universe itself, suggests Wilczek, seems to want to embody beautiful and elegant forms. Perhaps this force is the pure elegance of numbers, perhaps the work of a higher being, or somewhere between. Either way, we don’t depart from the infinite and infinitesimal after all; we’re profoundly connected to them, and we connect them. When we find that our sense of beauty is realized in the physical world, we are discovering something about the world, but also something about ourselves.
Gorgeously illustrated, A Beautiful Question is a mind-shifting book that braids the age-old quest for beauty and the age-old quest for truth into a thrilling synthesis. It is a dazzling and important work from one of our best thinkers, whose humor and infectious sense of wonder animate every page. Yes: The world is a work of art, and its deepest truths are ones we already feel, as if they were somehow written in our souls.
The Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America (PIASA) is a national not-for-profit 501 c (3) tax exempt, academic, cultural organization founded in 1942. It maintains a center of learning and culture devoted to the advancement of knowledge about Poland and Polish America in the United States. Since 1986 its national headquarters is a five story townhouse on 208 East 30th Street, New York, N.Y. 10016 in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan. The townhouse not only contains administrative and editorial offices, but also houses a specialized reference library and rich archives frequently visited by researchers from various parts of this country as well as from Poland. It also has an art gallery and small lecture hall where exhibits and lectures are organized . The Institute has approximately 1200 members, most of whom are regular members from academia, the arts, and professions. There is also a sustaining membership open to all who are interested in supporting the goals and mission of the Polish Institute. Student membership is available to graduate students.
what piasa does
PIASA fulfills its mission by engaging in the following activities:
- Since 1956 regularly publishes The Polish Review, the only scholarly English language, multi-disciplinary quarterly journal exclusively devoted to Polish affairs
- Publishes books under the PIASA BOOKS imprint
- Operates The Alfred Jurzykowski Library and Archives, a specialized reference library on Polish studies, which contains over 35,000 volumes. With the cooperation of Visiting Research Archivists from Poland collects and processes archival materials related to Polish and Polish American studies.
- Since 1978 organizes annually major multi-disciplinary conferences on Polish studies in connection with PIASA’s Annual Meetings
- Cooperates with American academic organizations e.g. as an institutional member of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (formerly AAASS) participates in its National Conventions since 1972
- Since 1990 cooperates closely with major Polish Institutions which include Polska Akademia Umiejetnosci (PAU), Polands National Archives (Naczelna Dyrekcja Archiwow Panstwowych), Biblioteka Narodowa, Foundation for Polish Science, Semper Polonia Foundation, Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
- Established the following $1000. awards to recognize and honor outstanding scholars and scientists living and working in the United States and Canada: Oskar Halecki Polish and East Central European History Award, Bronislaw Malinowski Social Science Award, Waclaw Lednicki Humanities Award, Casimir Funk Natural Science Award
“The Institute has gained full rights of citizenship in the field of learning and culture in the United States as well as in the world. It has won respect and many friends and has become one of the important points where the Polish spirit and Polish thought have come into contact with the spiritual heritage of the nations of the world”
Pope John Paul II, 1982
“Today, the Institute is a vital link between the Polish American community as well as America and the newly independent Poland. As such, it enriches the intellectual life of both America and Poland through cross-fertilization, exchanges of scholars, and systematic research and other forms of academic creativity.”
Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1995
“The promotion of knowledge about Poland’s historic achievements is one of the most important Polish foreign policy aims. I am pleased to acknowledge that we can always count on the Polish Institute’s valuable experience and professionalism for our activities in the United States”.
Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, former Foreign Minister of Poland, 2000